Forecasters at Colorado State University say the approaching peak of the 2018 hurricane season will be relatively quiet in the Atlantic Basin. But a report released Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration pointed out a troubling trend that could have implications for future hurricane forecasting: Warming in the Arctic could drive future Atlantic hurricane tracks farther west and thus make a U.S. landfall more likely.
The CSU forecasters, headed by meteorologist Phil Klotzbach, think cooler waters and drier air in the Atlantic Basin—which includes the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea—along with the presence of upper-level winds known as wind shear will make it more difficult for storms to form.
Hurricanes draw their power from warm ocean waters, and warm, moist air helps sustain them. The storms that spawn hurricanes are less likely to intensify when they are deprived of fuel and face hostile atmospheric conditions, thus suggesting the 2018 season is expected to be relatively quiet.